Melvyn Sahertian, pensions specialist
“To begin with I never imagined working with pensions and numbers. As a child I dreamed of a professional football career, but after MVV and Fortuna Sittard all that ended for me. A career in sports was the obvious choice, yet I ended up in the world of pensions. In 2004, I got a job with a small pension provider. I thought: ‘If I don’t like it, I can always leave.’ I stayed – pensions were more diverse, broader and more interesting than I thought. After five years, the organization was too small for a person seeking opportunities to grow. And so I applied to the much larger APG, where I could become a pension specialist through a traineeship. When asked at interview about my motivation, I compared working at APG with professional footballers who want to play for Ajax. It was slightly embarrassing when the director turned out to be a Feyenoord fan – very funny! But he could appreciate that I saw APG as a premiership club in the pensions world.
As a pension specialist, I spend most of my time providing error-free pension statements for thousands of pensioners, active members, other members and ex-partners. The statement shows what they have built up, what they are entitled to and what they can expect in the future. That sounds simpler than it is. Before such a statement can be obtained, I consult with many different teams, interact with departments, keep track of changes in the law and find out why data is incorrect or takes too long. It takes months to produce statements like these. That may seem like a long time, but it isn’t when you consider that many statements are tailor-made.